Portsmouth residents ‘dicing with death’ crossing road

PROTEST Cllr James Williams and residents with a petition for a crossing on Stamshaw Road
PROTEST Cllr James Williams and residents with a petition for a crossing on Stamshaw Road
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PEOPLE living near a busy road say they are ‘dicing with death’ every time they wish to cross.

They have now convinced Portsmouth transport bosses to think again about installing a safe crossing, after raising a 400-signature petition.

Residents of St John’s Court, Rudmore Court and neighbouring streets, believe speeding traffic makes it impossible for them to cross Stamshaw Road, Stamshaw.

They hope to force the council to install a crossing at the site of the former Beresford Arms pub.

Shirley Hemsley, 76, of Rudmore Court, said: ‘Cars come down the road at about 80mph. Every time we need to cross we’re dicing with death.’

A crossing is in place at Twyford Avenue, allowing people to cross to Stamshaw Road. But anyone wanting to cross again must walk half a mile north.

Mrs Hemsley said: ‘In Rudmore Court, there’s a man who’s blind and 102 years old.

‘He can’t walk a mile out of his way to get to Kingston Crescent.

‘Many of us are old, and in a lot of cases people are crossing and just hoping they’ll make it to the other side before they’re mown down. Some cars are nice, and will stop for you.

‘But many won’t. We need a safe crossing.’

City councillor James Williams, who represents the Nelson ward, presented the petition to the council’s traffic team.

He said: ‘They came to me with their problem, so I helped set up the petition.

‘I was shocked when we got so many signatures.

‘I presented the petition and as a result the traffic team’s having another look at it.

‘It will make things safer for people in the area. I want to make sure we can get a crossing before there’s a fatality on this road.’

Calls have been made for a Stamshaw Road crossing several times in the last decade, but council transport officers have always considered it a ‘moderate’ risk, and refused to fund it.

City transport boss, Cllr Jason Fazackarley, said: ‘It’s not the first time the issue’s been raised, and previously we’ve not been able to do it.

‘But this petition is a serious matter and means we’ll look again.

‘There are no guarantees, but it’s clearly something people feel strongly about.’